Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival To Celebrate 11th Year In East Tennessee

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Outstanding Scottish and Irish entertainers vie for attention with the Bagpipe & Drum Band Playoff Challenge at the 11th annual Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival, which will take place on Main Street in downtown Dandridge, Tn., on Saturday, Sept. 30.                  

The Festival will begin at the Highland Stage (behind Town Hall) in Dandridge on Friday night, Sept.

29, with a reception honoring its financial sponsors and contributing patrons.  The festival remains 100% sponsor and patron driven as it provides free admission to the public for all events on Saturday.

Saturday’s experience will be a trip back in time to enjoy the heritage of the original Scots-Irish who settled in East Tennessee ca. 1783, following the Revolutionary War.  Visitors will experience Scottish and Irish music, Highland Dancing, Irish Step Dancing, Heritage organizations, Highland Clan booths, Highland Cattle and Black Faced sheep exhibits, Sheepdog Trials, Highland Athletic demonstrations and Storytellers for both children and adults.  Scottish and Irish Food, baked goods, meals & treats will abound as well as Scots & Irish merchandise vendors, and much more.

Main Stage entertainment will feature four Scottish/Irish bands, including:  The Celtic Martin Family (Newmansville, PA); The Thistledown Tinkers (Charlotte, NC); and Lonestar Stout (Dallas, TX)..  The O’Kennessee Strings and Singer/Fiddler/Storyteller Kathryn Powell will perform on the Lowland Stage.  Cranruach (Lexington, VA) will perform in the Revolutionary Graveyard.

The fourth annual Pipe & Drum Band Challenge Playoff Competition will include the Knoxville Pipes & Drums; the 17th Lancers Pipes & Drums (Nashville) and the Atholl Highlanders Pipes & Drum (Stone Mountain, GA)  These bands will play twice each during the day as well as marching in the Ceremonial Parade on Main Street at Noon and as Mass Bands on the Dike at 4 p.m.  They will be performing for public judging to take home the Best Band Award.

Individual entertainers of renown include Robert Valentine, Scottish Emcee (Murray, KY); children’s storyteller/fiddler/singer Kathryn Powell (Arlington, TX); award winning highland dancer Claire Macmillan (Knoxville) and her students; as well as award winning Irish step dancer Katie Carver (Augusta, GA) and her students from Maryville, TN.

Following the Ceilidh (concert) on Loch Douglas, most of the above entertainers will be on stage for a special Ceilidh Encore.  Bagpiper Kelly Shipe will close the evening with her tenth annual rendition of ‘Piper on the Dike’ while spotlighted on the otherwise completely dark dike behind Town Hall & the Highland Stage.

‘Days Gone By’, an old time children’s playground (Sevierville) returns for their eleventh year. The Games’ Highland Heavy athletic demonstration will be performed by Randy Gratz, Lt.Col.(USAF retired) now of the Florida Keys.  Randy will demo events including the caber toss, hammer throw, stone put and more.  Phil Lakin will bring his Highland cattle, Scottish black-faced sheep and his Border Collie sheep dogs, a must-see exhibit for guests. Phil will also have his Border Collies perform as in a ‘sheepdog trials’ on the Dike.  Roger Kelley (Jefferson City) will exhibit his Civil War books & uniforms.

There will also be a dog parade down Main Street and will feature dogs brought to the festival by visitors.

While the weekend of family fun and festivities celebrates the area’s Scots-Irish roots, the event appeals to a wide range of guests – whether their ancestors were Scots-Irish or not.

“We appreciate the approximately five to six thousand individuals who attend the Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival each year,” said chairman Mike Dockery. “Spending a weekend celebrating a unique culture and all the fun that goes along with it is certainly a sight to see.”

In addition to educating the public, the Festival aims to create a significant and lasting impact on the East Tennessee community.  For information of becoming a Sponsor or Contributing Patron, please see ‘Sponsors’ or ‘Thistle Club Patrons’ on www.ScotsIrishFestival.com.

For more information about the festivities, visit www.ScotsIrishFestival.com or contact Clay Patterson at Info@Scots-Irish.com.  They can also be found on Facebook at ‘Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival’. The Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival is an IRS 501(C)(3) charitable organization.




This Week's Tennessee Tourism Round Up

Dance the night away, hunt for treasure, hike among the wildflowers, taste a slawburger, see the world’s largest  Titanic  ship built with Legos; and experience festivals celebrating culture, art and history. Here’s what’s going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list of events, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing Memphis -  “The ... (click for more)

All Aboard...The Chattanooga Choo Choo Rides Again

Passengers once boarded trains daily from Terminal Station at the Chattanooga Choo Choo .  Like the airport travel of our time, traveling from Chattanooga to other cities around the country by rail was the standard.  Not so today. In 1970, Terminal Station closed its 14 tracks and seven boarding platforms. Other than the occasional special event, trains haven’t ... (click for more)

WACKER-Charleston Taking Initial Steps To Restart Polysilicon Production After Explosion Shut Facility Last September

WACKER-Charleston announced Thursday it has resumed operations for the production of polysilicon. Using a phase-in approach, WACKER has begun the initial start-up of the site, beginning with distillation. The initial production of polysilicon is targeted to begin in the next few weeks. WACKER anticipates the Charleston site will reach full capacity in the fourth quarter ... (click for more)

Governor, Lt. Governor Praise Work Of 110th General Assembly

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Randy McNally praised the work of the 110 th  General Assembly .   Governor Haslam said the legislators acted to "keep Tennessee on pace to lead the nation in jobs, education and efficient and effective government."   He said, “The investments in this budget and our legislative priorities this session ... (click for more)

Keep The Gifted Program In The Hamilton County Schools - And Response (2)

I currently have a daughter in fourth grade at Lookout Valley Elementary and a daughter in the eighth grade at Lookout Valley Middle High School. Both of my daughters are very good students, as well as being very good people. I am writing today with a concern. I was made aware that the Hamilton County Department of Education is considering cutting the gifted program ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A True Tennessean

“Last week I told some Republican friends who have held high office, traditional and true Republicans, who like you are both conservative and compassionate, Christians in their personal faith and public service,” the email began. “These are Tennessee Republicans that I have known for decades, and whom I'd trust with my life and my wife … I told them that my views and values make ... (click for more)